Cuba Takes Some New Steps Backwards

The domino game is blocked

Martin Guevara

The official notice released on Tuesday.

HAVANA TIMES — Peter was a friend of mine from high school and his grandfather once told me in Puerto Padre: “These people hate habaneros (Havana residents)”.

He was referring to all those rebels who governed the country and are still leading the most miserable revolution you can imagine in their old age.

I am going to have to think that this old rascal was right, just like in everything else, if I don’t, it’ll be impossible to understand at this point why they have shut the doors to the possibility of entrepreneurship, imagination, creativity, inventions that benefit the country, all of our society. From now on, people who were in a tight spot won’t be able to improve their situation because of the simple fact that they screw over whoever is beginning to take off.

You can already hear “abducted” voices warning that it will be bad for whoever wanted to set up a business, but those who already have their own businesses still won’t have any problems. That’s not true at all, as of tonight, whoever has a business and isn’t the son of a general, will wake up with nightmares and in a cold sweat several times a night, they won’t live in peace, especially because when a growth and development dynamic of this kind is abruptly cut like this, enthusiasm dies out, people’s willpower dies, optimism dies, the growth chain, motivation, and incentives for the entrepreneur, all die.

They must be suspicious about just how quickly Cubans jump at the opportunity to work with real benefits and maybe they have all the reason to be so from their point of view. They work day and night and end up setting up a business, like all of those people in Cuba used to do when you could and just like the diaspora community has since 1959. They must think that in no time at all, they are going to have them at their level and they will shortly be the motor pushing the economy forward, and this string of incompetent generals want nothing less than finding their shoes being worn by their victims of yesteryear, with all of the outstanding accounts there are.

Otherwise, it’s impossible to explain why a government is stopping an emerging middle class who is beginning to give solutions which are still tentative, but real, genuine and homegrown.

Not only will History not absolve them, but it has prepared a chapter for them in a book that is hermetically closed because of the stench and fetidness that its pages give off.

14 thoughts on “Cuba Takes Some New Steps Backwards

  • I am afraid you are correct. It is baffeling the level of incompetence on economic regulatory frame work that would work.

  • Both N.J. Marti and you Eden are correct, Raul Castro’s occassional rants against his fellow Cubans for the theft that as Marti puts it is required to survive reflect his own administrations failings. Your summary of two words is precise.

  • I get all that, plus a lot more reasons too.

    My point was that I can’t imagine the present government making any of the necessary changes to improve the situation. They’re paralyzed.

  • Well the Government can start by moving to a system that does not require theft to survive. The food card is good for 40% of a months caloric needs. The $20 to $25 a month in wages is not enough. Thus everyone has a side hustle. The official system has failed, it is the black market that keeps people alive. Everyday corruption is the norm at all levels of government. Cutting off one the few legal means to make a living is destructive. The need to survive will drive informal market outside of legal framework no matter the pronouncements.

  • Fear best explains this backward move. They must have felt the risk of losing control was greater than the risk of disillusionment. The policy change has not been well received. What little hope had been emerging, has been hit hard. The government needed to put in wholesale markets, legal framework and tax system. That would have been forward movement. Poor decision made by an aging regime out of ideas.

  • Its a good response Terry, but only time will tell which of us is correct.

  • Carlyle, I know I’m correct. The “government” will intervene to “govern” as many times as it is deemed necessary to insure a smooth transition to capitalism, to insure the fair collection of taxes to support their social programs, and to insure a continuation of their civil society. Yes, I am an optimist, but I’m also very much a realist. Unfortunately I see you as more of a pessimist than a realist because it seems as though you are unable (or unwilling) to envision Cuba 10 or 20 years from now. You must stop thinking in terms immediate gratification with respect to the government of Cuba meeting your proposed agenda for the island. Only then could you possibly be a realist.

  • Hope you are correct Terry, but how long will it take to give effect and how many times will the regime intervene to inhibit the necessary progress? You are the optimist and I obviously think that I am the realist.

  • So far it has been mostly a failure on almost every level and the government has no clue how to get it back on track.

    Best of luck to them because the old system is a disaster and change is desperately needed asap.

  • That’s the spirit of competition within a capitalist framework… to find the most efficient, cost-effective way of doing business in order to constantly compete and maximize profits. Nothing wrong with that. But the Cuban government has to now create the avenues and the incentives for their private entrepreneurs to do that legally so that the government can always consistently reap the rewards of their budding capitalist society too. It’s a learning curve that they’re struggling with. They’ll get there together eventually to find a balance, because he genie of capitalism is now decisively out of the bottle in Cuba.

  • Not a freaking clue. It’s so ingrained that it would take a total rework of the system and the government would never agree to such drastic changes. The corruption/theft is as normal as breathing now.

  • Nice to see you back Martin. One of the Castro regime’s difficulties is that in their endeavors to create a proletariat mass, even the mediocre is unacceptable.

  • How would you remedy this dilemma, Eden-

  • With all due respect you vastly, VASTLY underestimate the amount of corruption and theft that was happening openly. This was a major factor in freaking out the government too.

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